Cathay Pacific announces new long-haul economy seats

12 Dec 2011

Cathay Pacific made two big announcements today (December 12): it unveiled a brand new economy class product for long- and medium-haul aircraft, to be introduced progressively from March next year, and revealed details of its new premium economy product, which will also be rolled out on long-haul flights from March 2012 onwards.

The new long-haul economy product will be wider, measuring between 18.1 inches to 18.5 inches, almost one inch more than what the current economy seats offer, while there will be an two additional inches of recline with the help of a cradle mechanism. The seat will also have high-resolution touchscreen inflight entertainment systems (IFEs), a USB port and an iPod/iPhone outlet allowing passengers to hook their own devices up to the IFE screens.

These new seats will be fitted on 36 long-haul Boeing B777-300ER and 26 Airbus A330-300 aircraft by December 2013, the first of which will be deployed on flights to Sydney and Toronto in March next year.

The carrier’s long-awaited premium economy product, announced earlier this year (see story here), will feature a spacious cabin configured with 26 to 34 seats. The seat will have a 38-inch pitch and will be 19.3 inches wide with an 8-inch recline. Other features include a large meal table, footrest, a 10.6-inch personal IFE system and, as with the economy seats, a multi-port connector for personal devices.

Premium economy passengers will also enjoy priority check-in, priority boarding before economy class passengers and a 25kg baggage allowance or two pieces of luggage per passenger where piece system policies are used. They will be welcomed aboard with juice or champagne and enjoy an enhanced meal selection.

Speaking at a luncheon by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) at Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel today, Cathay Pacific chief executive John Slosar said: "Premium economy is as much an inflight experience as it is a seat; a lot of focus has been on the seat but it is also the service that goes with it. Everybody who chooses this product has to know they are getting a lot more than economy."

The product is expected to be installed on 87 Cathay Pacific aircraft by the end of 2013, including B777-300ERs, B747-400s, A330-300s and A340-300s. Seats will be on sale in the first quarter of 2012 for flights departing from April 2012 onwards. Slosar called 2012 "a big year of reconfiguration" for the airline.

"We are really excited about these latest innovations. As always, the comfort of our customers was front and centre of our design process and we believe the results represent a very significant upgrade in the product we offer," he said.

For more information, visit

Reggie Ho

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